Thailand has made one of its largest crystal methamphetamine busts, seizing drugs worth $22.42 million, police said on Tuesday, as the United Nations warned that Southeast Asia is being flooded with illegal drugs from the “Golden Triangle” region.
Police said 700 kilograms of the drug, known as ‘ice’, was seized on March 28 in southern Chumpon Province. The consignment was destined for Malaysia.
The drugs were produced in the Golden Triangle region, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Two Thais and two Malaysians were arrested in connection with the bust.
The methamphetamine market has expanded at an alarming rate in East and Southeast Asia. In 2015, experts in several countries in the sub-region reported an increase in the use of both crystalline methamphetamine and methamphetamine tablets. Among amphetamines, methamphetamine represents the greatest global health threat, a 2017 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug report said.
“These big seizures are indications that there is a relentless supply pumping out of the Golden Triangle and North Shan in Myanmar to flood Southeast Asian markets and also transit Southeast Asia to high-value markets such as Australia, New Zealand and potentially further,” Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC’s chief in Southeast Asia, told Reuters.
Police displayed the haul on Tuesday at a government compound north of Bangkok. Other drugs on display included illicit drugs worth $28.51 million, including cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy, seized in various busts between March 25 and April 1.
Bangkok, (Hindustan Times/Reuters, Apr 03, 2018